Heat stroke is a dangerous condition that creeps up quietly: Recognize the first signs

Illustration / Photo: Antonio Guillem / Alamy / Alamy / Profimedia

These days, as well as during the summer, will be particularly hot, and such conditions can expose us to dehydration and heat stroke, conditions that are life-threatening.

Family medicine doctor Juha Heino for the Finnish portal "Ilta-Sanomat" explain that dehydration can develop silently and insidiously. The first symptoms may be loss of appetite, weakness, nausea, diarrhea and confusion.

"Dehydration that develops slowly weakens sweating." This is dangerous because the job of sweating is to cool the body. When the body is dehydrated, there is no longer enough fluid to sweat. The result is dry skin," explained Dr. Heino.

Untreated dehydration is followed first by heat exhaustion, and in the worst case, heat stroke. Heat exhaustion is characterized by weakness, intense thirst and headache. Milder forms are treated by drinking water and moving to a cooler and shaded place.

"As the situation worsens, the body can no longer cool itself and the body temperature can rise to over 40 degrees Celsius. Symptoms may include nausea, shallow breathing, and confusion. The pulse may be weak. In addition, the skin may be dry and red. In the worst case, heatstroke can lead to unconsciousness," added the doctor.

When you suspect heatstroke in yourself or someone else, call an ambulance immediately, as this is a life-threatening situation.

With the help of one method, it is easy to monitor whether the body is sufficiently hydrated. Doctor Anna-Marie Hekala advises people to look at the appearance of urine.

"If it's a small amount and dark in color, you need to cool down and drink water," she said.

However, keep in mind that you should not overdo it with water either, because its excessive intake can lead to hyponatremia, i.e. water poisoning. Fortunately, this is a fairly rare condition.

According to doctors, thirst is a good measure of basic fluid needs. The American National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine have determined that adequate daily fluid intake is 3,7 liters per day for men and 2,7 liters per day for women. However, it should be noted that this refers to total fluid intake, which includes water, but also other beverages, as well as foods that contain water, such as fruits and vegetables. The daily need for fluid during the heat increases by an average of one liter.

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